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The Wisconsin State Patrol advises that before you hit the road for a fishing or camping trip this summer, make sure that your boat, camper, trailer or other piece of towed equipment is safely and securely fastened to your vehicle.
“For safe towing on roadways, state law requires that the ball and hitch coupling assembly must match exactly and fit securely,” says Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Gerald C. Voight of the Northwest Region/Eau Claire Post. “Two safety chains of proper length and strength also must be attached between the vehicle and the trailer. The slack on each length of chain must not be more than is necessary to permit proper turning. A violation of this state law costs $200.50 with two demerit points added to a driver’s license.”
The State Patrol also offers some simple and practical advice for safe towing. Captain Voight says, “Before you head up north or to other parts of Wisconsin with your boat, camper or trailer, check to see if it is loaded properly and its contents are secured. A shifting load on a trailer can cause it to sway unexpectedly. Test the trailer brake lights. You also should check the axles and tires. Many trailers sit for long periods of time, and we see crashes caused by axles seizing or tires blowing. You should carry a spare tire because specialty tires for trailers may be hard to find when you’re far from home or it’s the middle of the night.”